Bulgarian right-wing activists backed by the opposition GERB party demanded on Monday a referendum to challenge the voting rules in the Balkan country in what has become an increasingly divisive issue in the run up to European vote this May. About 150 people marched from Sofia University to the parliament building in downtown Sofia and submitted more than 560,000 signatures to parliament calling for the referendum – above the half million they need to force a plebiscite. Recent opinion polls show the Socialists and centre-right GERB are running neck-to-neck in support ahead of the May election.
An initiative committee collected the signatures for less than a month after the ruling Socialists indicated they would not support the proposal by President Rosen Plevneliev for such a vote.
“The signatures were collected with the energy of the protests of the Bulgarian citizens…not just the GERB party. We want to make the referendum obligatory so that the ruling stop weaselling and appoint it,” Sofia University lecturer Georgi Bliznashki told reporters.